Music folders

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Lizziejh, Jan 17, 2017.

  1. Lizziejh macrumors member

    Lizziejh

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2016
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    I have two music folders. One with some of my music and another with all of my music. Can I safely delete the folder with only some of my music? I am struggling to understand the folder system on a mac.

    Also the disk utility icon is in one of the music folders.
     
  2. BarracksSi Suspended

    BarracksSi

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    #2
    I just let iTunes organize all of my music files (that is, anything playable, and not sheet music).

    If you move the files now in Finder, iTunes will wonder where they went, and you'd need to either re-add them to the iTunes library (by dragging them onto the sidebar in the iTunes app) or help iTunes rediscover them one-by-one.

    It's been at least ten or fifteen years since I touched any music files in the Finder, though, so I'm just going by memory here.

    Why? Did you put it there?

    Is it an alias (an icon with a little black arrow in the bottom left corner)?

    If it's an alias, you can trash it. If it's the app itself, you can just drag it back into the Utilities folder where it's supposed to be.
     
  3. Lizziejh thread starter macrumors member

    Lizziejh

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    Jun 12, 2016
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    UK
    #3
    Thanks for answering.

    Is the iTunes music folder, the one with ♫ next to it?

    I think the disk utility icon was a duplicate I trashed it and it's still in launchpad.
     
  4. BarracksSi Suspended

    BarracksSi

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    #4
    The iTunes music folder is, technically, the iTunes Library (I believe; I'm away from my Mac). If, in iTunes Preferences, you've checked the box that says, "Keep iTunes folder organized" (and another setting for something like, "Automatically copy/import files"), it'll sort and organize your music files -- and movies and mobile apps -- and keep track of them with a Library database file.

    You'll never need to move anything around in this library folder. You can always use iTunes as a management app.

    You can keep media files in various places on your computer and on external drives if you really want to. You could even keep the entire iTunes Library on an external drive and play from it. It's simplest, though, to let iTunes do the file organization for you.

    The icon for Disk Utility -- make sure whether it's an app or an alias by selecting it and choosing Get Info from the File menu in the Finder.
     
  5. Lizziejh thread starter macrumors member

    Lizziejh

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    #5
    Ok I understand now. Thank you.
     
  6. BarracksSi Suspended

    BarracksSi

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    Jul 14, 2015
    #6
    Thinking about this remark:
    Which OS are you coming from?

    I'm asking because my aunt bought her first Mac yesterday, and I sat with her for a few hours to help her understand it. She's coming from Windows (primarily), and is accustomed to directories and things like that. As an example, she's expecting that the Sidebar in a Finder window would be like a directory tree in Windows Explorer; I gave her the metaphor of the Sidebar being like a "favorite locations" selector, and she seemd to understand the difference a little better.

    Don't worry about how navigating files and folders is weird. You're NOT alone. In every workflow I've seen, and in any desktop OS, the slowest part happens when someone has to access different folders and move, or copy, or select, or delete files. It can take five minutes to show someone how to splice a video or add a handwritten signature to a PDF, then at least another five minutes to explain where to save or export it and then access it again later. Accessing files is such a common action that it should be simpler and quicker than it is.

    Avoiding the need to dig around in a file system to accomplish basic everyday tasks is one of the things I've begun to appreciate about iOS.
     
  7. wittyphrase macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2017
    Location:
    New York
    #7
    So, hoping to take advantage of this particular discussion, any resources you'd recommend to help someone wrap his head around this (file organization)? Brand new mac user and this is the thing I myself am struggling with. I do seem to be able to organize folders similar to how I did on Windows, but I keep getting the feeling that's not as critical on a Mac.
     
  8. Lizziejh, Jan 17, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017

    Lizziejh thread starter macrumors member

    Lizziejh

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2016
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    #8
    I'm coming from Windows. I thought the sidebar in finder was like explorer in Windows. How little I know and how much still to learn. But there is a lot of online help, I belong to an iPad, iPhone and now this mac forum and there is always someone, like yourself, willing to help.

    It's much appreciated.
     
  9. BarracksSi Suspended

    BarracksSi

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    #9
    I'm trying to think of an online "one-stop shop" for Mac orientation besides workshops at Apple Stores. Apple used to have a section of their site in the early 2000's with a lot of short tutorial videos, all geared for switchers who wanted to do regular things.

    For the most part, the Mac still uses a very physical metaphor. When I started showing my aunt Control Center (swipe up with three fingers [default] and you can put apps in different Desktops), she was having trouble wrapping her head around it until I described it like, say, "Desktop 1 can be the dining room table, Desktop 2 can be the home office desk," etc.

    If you're like my mother and clutter up the dining room table with all kinds of papers and books, you might clutter your Mac's desktop with documents and apps and folders full of movie clips and subfolders of image files and on and on and on. She was even "backing up" her files by making duplicates in duplicate folders -- once we realized what she was doing, which was essentially doubling the occupied space on her HD while having zero protection if the drive failed, it took a lot of work to explain the predicament she had created.

    But, because of its UNIX background, the Mac OS does a few things in a very computer-y way, namely with the placement of Applications and all their support files and with the User account.

    Check Youtube for "Apple switcher tutorial videos" and you'll get a few good ones (at least that's how it appears to me; not in a position to watch them at the moment).

    I'd also say to look around System Preferences for a while. Check out the Trackpad pane for multitouch gestures, and also things like Mission Control and Accessibility.

    If you're afraid of losing your own files, you can create another User account (System Preferences -> Users & Groups, then click the "+" sign in the lower left at the bottom of the user list) and try things out.

    At a general level, and as concisely as I can, here's what I'd say:

    - Home folder: This is all your personal stuff. You can put it in the Sidebar by going to Finder -> Preferences. You can treat this pretty much like your own storage area.

    - iTunes, Photos, etc: I treat these like file organizers -- or assistants, or secretaries, or something like that. It's as if, when I drag music to keep in iTunes onto the iTunes window's sidebar, iTunes takes it and copies it into its own private filing cabinet. That "cabinet" is the iTunes folder, which resides in my Music folder. Same thing with Photos, GarageBand, and others. If I want to find files in iTunes and copy them somewhere else (like onto a USB stick), I don't go into the file system -- I drag them out of the iTunes window itself. For the most part, I have iTunes do the retrieving, storage, and organization for me.

    - Applications folder -- and everything at directory levels higher than my Home folder: The only one of these I bother touching is Applications, and that's when I'm either installing or deleting apps from my computer. Installing means either using an installer or copying the app into Applications; uninstalling means dragging them out of Applications and into the trash. Most apps are really well self-contained and aren't sticking small files into every crevice of the OS.
     
  10. Lizziejh thread starter macrumors member

    Lizziejh

    Joined:
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    UK
    #10
    That a big help, plenty to learn that's for sure. Thanks
     
  11. BarracksSi Suspended

    BarracksSi

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    Jul 14, 2015
    #11
    Just trying to help (and besides, helping my aunt got me to look at the macOS UI with fresh eyes for the first time since... uh... 1984!).

    I just now started watching this tutorial and, right off the bat, at 2:30, he talks about the Applications folder being visible in the sidebar of a Finder window. This wasn't visible in my aunt's fresh Sierra installation on her new MBP. I was so accustomed to it being visible on my own computer that I had to look around and remember that it was in Finder's Preferences pane.

    So my point -- I guess, my other recommendation -- is to check the Preferences in each app that you use. You don't need to change anything, but it'll help you get familiar with what each app can do.

    One other cool thing (and excuse me if I mess this up) is to enable Keyboard Viewer so you can see how to type special characters. It should be in System Preferences -> Keyboard (or maybe Languages.... you can search System Preferences by using the search box in the upper right, and it'll show you where to go). You can have a mini virtual keyboard on display, and it'll show you what characters would appear when you press the keys -- but not just "qwerty" etc, but also when you hold Shift, Option-Shift, and (I think) Ctrl-Opt-Shift. This helps learn how to easily type things like the symbol for Euros (currency), the little "0" for temperature degrees, the upside-down "!" for Spanish grammar, and other things like that.
     
  12. Lizziejh thread starter macrumors member

    Lizziejh

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2016
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    Great tips, especially the keyboard one! Thanks
     

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